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Swift and UPS Post Falling 3Q Revenue

UPS Freight

UPS Teamster Negotiations Begin 2012Rising prices on already high diesel fuel rates left some of the nation’s largest carriers flat. While the general economic outlook for the holiday delivery season is good, instability in foreign markets, especially Europe are testing investor confidence to the point of affecting consumer spending and saving.

Swift Transportation’s second-quarter net income fell 10% to $27.9 million, or 20 cents per share, from $31.0 million, or 22 cents per share, in the third quarter as freight volume weakened and fuel costs rose.

Revenue rose 1% to $871.1 million, the company announced. The results included an increase in revenue per truck per week of 3.6% and a 41.5% increase in intermodal revenue.

Swift said a lag in fuel surcharge collections that was related to fast-rising diesel prices lowered earnings by 3.5 cents to 4 cents per share.

UPS says it’s uncertain how strong the holiday shopping season will be, and that the pace of global growth remains uneven.

“Our results were achieved in an environment of slowing global trade and changing market dynamics,” said Scott Davis, UPS chairman and CEO. As of recently, Davis has been calling out politicians in Washington in an effort to end the gridlock that has been threatening the economic recovery in the holiday season. The 4Q is the most important earning season for most retailers, some of which base their entire profit schedule around a strong performance from November to early January.

UPS Inc. said its third-quarter profit fell 56% on pension-restructuring charges. UPS also has to enter the second round of negotiations with the Teamsters Union on Nov. 12th, which will have a large effect on their profit margin for the holiday season.

Net income fell to $469 million, or 48 cents per share, from $1.07 billion, or $1.09, a year ago. Revenue fell 0.7% to $13.07 billion, the company said Tuesday.

UPS said that net income was $1.03 billion excluding the pension restructuring costs, or 4.1% below last year’s third quarter.